Sunday, July 26, 2009
Deseret News 10k - Downhill adventure!
I did this one last year, in fact it was my first 10k ever, and I enjoyed it then, so I figured what the heck!
It helped that I got an email from Becca asking if it was true that we were doing the same race! Yippee!! Someone to at least start with and watch whiz past me, and then meet up again at the finish!!
Double bonus? The Shark planned to come along for moral support. How good of a BFF is that? Really?
Friday, July 24th, dawned bright and friggin early. 4:30am to be exact. I got up, got my Monster gulped down (remember, I AM letting myself have one for race days), ate my pre-race banana nut muffin, and proceeded to get ready. Woke Splenda up, and we headed to the Shark's. Did you know that a Shark can come bounding out of her house at 5:00am, like it's nothin? She could have been sleeping for crying out loud! But nope, here she is, armed with a camera, and lot's of encouragement.
Splenda totally takes the wrong way to the U and I am freaking out on the inside. I'm so scared that I won't get there in enough time to get warmed up and stretched. We are making small talk, and I am having a conversation in my head that goes something like this: "Crap. Crap. Crap!! I am not going to have time to properly stretch this stupid IT band, I am going to end up hurting even before I round the corner, and I think I want to pull my hair out because it's taking SO LONG TO GET WHERE I AM SUPPOSED TO BE!!!" Or something like that.
With Shark's navigation and Splenda's good paying attention and listening to her skills, they drop me off and I head to the start line where I am to meet Becca. I am about 10 minutes of where I want to be in my timeline, but there is nothing to be done, and now I am just focused on getting warm, getting stretched and working it out in my head. I had checked last year's finish and I was 46:39. I set a goal for 45:00 or better. I'm thinking even 45 and some change, and I would be happy.
I hang around the start line, doing my thing, watching for Becca, watching the other runners, and getting myself mentally ready to go. I get grabbed from behind and there is the cutest Becca! I heart her!
She is a runner that I could learn more than a few tricks from!
We talk and keep warming up. I hear my name and there is Shark and Splenda. They found a parking spot and decided to come see us off! Now, I am totally and completely happy and relaxed. Legs feel good. Quads a little sore, but I know that once I am running I won't even feel them.
They let the handwheelers go first, and I note that while this event is bigger than it's ever been entrants wise, there are fewer hand wheel racers than last year.
Now it's our turn, the gun goes off and we are right in the thick of it! LOVE IT!!! nothing like jostling runners right out of the gate!
It begins to thin out pretty quick and Becca and I are side by side for now. However, I can tell, her pace is MUCH quicker than mine, I have started too quick, yet again, and I know that I won't be keeping this up for long.
We stayed together until the second turn, onto Foothill Blvd. It was then that I saw her go by. I tried to keep her in my sights and use her as a pacer, but she was too quick. Couldn't keep up. I settled into a good pace and started counting my road kills.
It's a great course. Almost entirely downhill. Thus, you can get a great time, but you also have to be careful that you don't pound your legs too hard. I was feeling good and adopting the "ugly" run that helps downhill. Basically let go and run very loose. Loose arms, loose legs. Looks ridiculous, and I am sure that by the time I hit the parade route, the on-lookers were highly amused if not confused. But it felt good and I felt strong. The only challenge I seemed to have was keeping my air. Taking a week off, it's amazing how quickly you lose your fitness level. Hard to get it back, quick to go.
I was also dying for water. I really expected it at mile 3, but nothing. It wasn't until mile 5 that there was a water station. Blessed water. I took a gulp, dumped the rest down my back and didn't miss a step. I was amazed that I was actually feeling that good. And no knee pain at all. I was so pleased.
I finally rounded that corner from State Street to 700 south. The down hill is over now, and we are doing a gradual, slight upward grade to Liberty Park. I have kept a woman in my sights for the past 4 miles and I am determined to kick it up a notch and pass her on the way in.
I found a nice spot in the road and dug hard. I was trying to keep my leg speed quick without going to huge strides. That felt good. I passed the lady, and a few more dudes and then saw the FINISH banner. Hear Shark off to the side and give her and Splenda a smile. Give it everything I have and push those last few feet in.
I catch a glimpse at the clock. CRAP!! CRAP CRAP CRAP!!! 47 something! Not only short of my goal, but slower than last year. Are you freakin kiddin me? Not.Pleased. Not.Pleased.At.All.
They cut my chip off, I move through the gate and try to process what I just saw. Slower than last year. SLOWER THAN LAST YEAR!! What was it? My knees weren't hurting, my legs felt good. I was having trouble catching my air, but nothing that should slow me down. It must be the 5 extra ellbees that I am carrying this summer vs last summer. I don't know.
Meet up with Splenda, Shark and Becca. Becca has kicked BUTT! Her time? 45:18 Well done girl, very well done! We have some water, stretch and watch other runners come in. I really am feeling good, I just can't believe the number on the clock. Ouch!
We walk around the park a little bit, grab some orange slices to munch on and look to see if they have posted any official times yet. Nope. Nothing. Becca heads off to meet her other friend who's in town and Splenda, me and the Shark make our way back to the car and head for home.
Notice how great Becca looks. I'm not sure she even broke a sweat to be honest with you.
While I am stretching in the front seat, I review the race in my head. What could I have done differently. Was there any point that I could have given more instead of holding back? Could I have pushed any harder? The answer was very clear. Nope. Not a dang thing. I gave it everything I had. There wasn't any point in the race that I held back, or slowed or even considered letting up. I ran as fast as I could. The whole time.
Even though I did every trick I knew, I still fell short of my goal. And you know what? I'm okay with it. It took me a couple of hours to get there and find that peace with myself, but really, I'm okay. Now. I couldn't have changed anything. I ran the fastest that I was capable of running. So there was nothing I can beat myself up about. I guess I just need to train my body to go faster than it thinks it can.
For now, I am pleased. I can live with this one. No beating myself up this time. Nope. I'll take it and be happy.
Official Time: 47:12
12th woman of 110 in my age group
Yep, I'll take it, and just keep training, just keep training, just keep training.... (picture Dori the fish).
And a HUGE thank you to my Splenda Daddy and the Shark. My support group, my entourage, my besties that I can rely on. They know what to say, when to say it, and when to just be quiet.
Next up? A quick 5k for Splenda next weekend. I think I'll use this one for sprint training.